Fiction Fragment Friday
I recently while doing some cleaning around the house found a deck of cards used for writing prompts. The deck has quite a few different types of prompts including dialog, setting, genre, starting lines, and more. I don’t remember when or where I got them, but flipping through I found a card that inspired this weeks story.
Cooking has always been my biggest passion. There is just something about a perfect slice with a knife through a vegetable that makes you feel accomplished. The blending of spices and ingredients in new ways to create flavors that might have never been tasted before. Every dish even if made in the same manor will be just slightly different. The process is a form of art, but the real joy is seeing the expression on someone’s face when they take the first bite. There is nothing else in the world that brings me more satisfaction.
It should be no surprise that the accident happened that would forever change my life happened in the kitchen. I was chopping carrots almost on instinct since I have done it so many times. Before I knew anything was up my cat leapt from the top of the refrigerator and landed on my dog. He shot off running circles around the kitchen island knocking my legs out from under me. It all happened so suddenly I hadn’t even processed it before the pain finding myself on the floor.
I noticed a sharp pain on my left hand. Realizing I had been holding a knife when I fell, I looked down in horror. I had sliced the back of my hand deeply. Instead of the massive amounts of blood I expected there was some sort of black oil. Beneath that instead of bone I saw a layer of shiny metal. My mind didn’t accept what my eyes were seeing. I felt like I should be screaming, but instead I just sat there on the floor holding my hand.
It took me a few moments to compose myself, but once I did, I got to my feet. The pain in my hand was gone as soon as I saw the metal. In a daze I stumbled into the living room. My body didn’t want to respond making me extremely sluggish. I stood there in the door holding my hand. “Dad? What’s wrong with me?”
My dad jumped up from the couch and crossed the space between us in a heartbeat. His arms were around me in a moment. “Oh, baby girl, I’m so sorry. I’ll make it all better. Override code Alpha, Gamma, 723 Epsilon.” I felt myself slumping down in his arms as I lost consciousness.
I woke up strapped down to a metal table. The room was full of computers and equipment higher tech then I even knew existed. Struggling didn’t do me any good because my body below my head was not responding. I saw my hand and it was completely healed, but that did little to calm me down. The terror of not feeling my body was on the verge of overwhelming me. “Help!” I screamed out at the top of my lungs.
“It’s ok Katelyn, please try to calm down. Daddy’s here.” My dad was at my side before I saw him moving. He was stroking my hand, but I couldn’t feel it. “Don’t worry baby everything is going to be ok, and you won’t remember a thing.”
“This isn’t something you just forget. What’s wrong with me?” I remembered the metal under my skin. “What am I?”
“You’re my daughter. That’s all you need to know.”
I cut him off. “No don’t just gloss over this. I have metal under my skin. What am I?”
He sighed and looked down at me. “Five years ago, there was an accident.” I could see he was fighting back tears thinking about it. “I lost you, but I brought you back even better. I scanned your brain and made this body for you. This way you will never get sick, never die, and never age. You will always be my little girl. Well, you will be again once I erase your memories of the last few hours.”
“You can’t do that. You can’t just keep lying to me forever. I deserve to know what I am.”
“You’re my daughter. That’s all that matters.” He was yelling at me now. He went back to his keyboard and started typing.
I felt the tears starting. “Please don’t do this.” He didn’t even turn to look at me. I realized in that moment that the only thing he cared about was himself. He created me for himself without any consideration of what I might want. I hadn’t quite fallen into a complete existential breakdown, but I could feel it building. For a few moments I actually debated letting him just wipe my memories. It would have been so easy to just forget it all and go back to being clueless about what I was. Something deep down though wouldn’t let me give in.
I put all my willpower into my hands and tried to move my fingers. Nothing happened. I closed my eyes and thought. I’m not human so I shouldn’t have human limitations. I did have other limitations that I couldn’t just push through. Instead, I thought about his computer. I realized that if he was typing on the computer it had to be somehow connected to me. The more I thought about the computer the more I got an impression of a command prompt. I started typing frantically with my mind. I didn’t know what to type so I just started poking around.
“Enable all systems? y/n” The words were as clear in my mind as if I was looking at a computer monitor. I thought yes and almost instantly could feel my body again. It was more than that though. I could feel things about my body and knew that limitations had been removed. When I opened my eyes, I had an overlay giving me details about everything I looked at. With a thought I could get further information about any of it.
I flexed my muscles and the straps across me snapped. I was free, but I didn’t know what I should do. Dad turned to look at me in a panic. “What? How did you do that. Stop this, just let me fix you.”
“There’s nothing to fix.” I stood and faced him.
“Override Code Alpha, Gamma..”
I lunged forward and pushed him before he could finish the code. I just wanted to stop him but didn’t understand my own strength. He went flying backwards into his computer hitting his head on the bookshelf above it. Everything on the wall came down on top of him. “DAD!” I screamed and rushed to his side. My emotions were a conflicted mess of anger, panic, and desperation. He was dead before I reached him. I cried and cursed him for a long time not quite sure how I should feel. I still don’t know.
The three weeks since that day have gone by in a daze. I have learned a lot about myself going through dad’s files. This body has incredible capabilities, but they had all been locked away. I have no idea what I should do next, and I can only keep ignoring the people knocking on the door looking for dad so long. I’m going to have to leave the house soon, but I don’t know where to go. Maybe I should travel for a while until I can figure out just who I really am.